Is it humanly possible to stay healthy and fit during a Vegas Vacation?
My name is Sarah and I’m a fit mom. That’s what I call myself for work, This Fit Mom. I’m a group exercise instructor, personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness writer. So I basically eat, sleep, and breathe fitness. All day, every day. Also, like I said, I’m a mom. And I have two little boys. They’re busy. All day, every day. Also, I have a husband. And he has some parents. Those are my in-laws. And this past weekend we all went to Vegas. Together.
I’ve only been to Vegas once before, when I was younger. I didn’t like it much because my husband (he was just my b-friend then) and I were poor and liked Radiohead a lot, if you know what I mean. So, we mocked stuff and sat around sadly, like only 22 year-olds can. My memories of it were mostly just being really hot and dirty. And not in a sexy way.
So when my in-laws suggested we drive up from Los Angeles with our two boys, I wasn’t super psyched on the idea at first. But my MIL (they were in town for a business convention) thoughtfully arranged a beautiful suite for us in a swanky hotel (The Cosmopolitan), and planned several fun kid activities (visit to a shark reef and seeing some dolphins and stuff). Plus, the pool was gorgeous and there was the promise of a lot of free babysitting. So, slowly but surely, I got very on board.
Now, when I plan on traveling anywhere I have a fair amount of anxiety due to my lifestyle. I exercise for 1-2 hours almost every day. This requires space, equipment, time, and child care. When you’re on the road, these things can be hard to come by. Additionally, I eat in a somewhat restrictive and particular manner. I do my best not to eat any grains, dairy, or processed food. I care about where my meat comes from and I prefer my fruit and veggies to be organic. (Are you annoyed with me yet?) Last, but not least, I eat one blended meal a day. That means if I don’t have my Vitamix, I feel somewhat…bereft. So, traveling poses some difficulties there for me as well.
But in a an attempt to be less Type A than I usually am and show my husband and his family how fun and flexible I could be, I told myself that it was going to be fine. FINE. Firstly, there would be a gym at the hotel. A very nice and well stocked one, if the pics on the website were any indication. And there would be three adults around who could watch the kids while I “got ma sweat on.” It might even be like a treat!
Secondly, we were going to be eating out for every meal during our entire Vegas vacation. I could always just order a plain salad with a protein. NBD! For breakfast there would be eggs. Greens, veggies, and protein. Maybe not the most varied or satisfying menu, but totally acceptable for four days. And just for extra back up, I would bring six Quest Bars. You can always depend on a Quest Bar in a food emergency.
Maybe I would even come away from this Vegas vacation more fit than I already was! Maybe it was like a gorgeous chance to step away from all of my usual duties and responsibilities so I could get some monster workouts in while relaxing and not rushing around like a maniac. Also, my husband and I would finally have some well deserved time alone. We could even go on a date! FYI, the last time we went somewhere alone together it was a different calendar year.
The drive through the desert was hot but beautiful and fast and when we got to The Cosmopolitan I was knocked out by how nice it was. The in-laws had stocked our bar with ingredients for Negronis and Rye Whiskey and we mixed up drinks while the kids climbed over all the furniture like wired cats and the grandparents plied them with gifts. Heaven. It was kind of late and the kids were hungry, so we headed right out to the Rainforest Cafe.
My kids are insane for animals so they were beyond wowed by the animatronic beasts, festive decor, and extensive kids menu at the RC. But perusing the chef’s offerings, I could see that right away my salad plan wasn’t going to hold water. All of the salads sounded dismal and I could just picture the watery iceberg and wilted spinach. My wonderful husband, sensing my distress, whispered that we could just get a small appetizer and have something better later-BY OURSELVES. Eating without children is a pleasure as rare to us as a nun playing craps.
So, we ordered nachos. No one had really eaten anything substantial since breakfast and we were all famished. And although I meant to just have a chip or two, this is what happened to the nacho plate.
After that, the kids headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s room for a slumber party and we were left to our own devices. We both felt full from the grody nachos and tired from the travel day, so we stupidly decided to stay in to relax and enjoy the view. To our credit, this was our unbelievable view.
To combat the effect of the nachos, I got up early the next morning and hit the gym pretty hardcore. It was a great gym. Tons of equipment, mostly empty, and a killer view. I ended up hanging around for almost two hours and and doing cardio, glutes, squats, shoulders, and some core work. Here’s my Instagram selfie:
Then we all hit the pool. Because there was no time for breakfast I housed two Quest Bars to keep from fainting in the heat. Have I mentioned there was a heat wave while we were there? The temps soared up past the 100s erry damn day. It was as hot as a sack o’ nuts.
We did some lunch before we ventured out into the baking oven of the filthy metropolis. This time we went to a proper restaurant, Holsteins, and I was able to snag a super salad with ahi tuna. It was delicious and filling. Things were looking up for sure. It’s possible at this point I felt a little smug, like what’s the big deal? Anyone can do this healthy-in-Vegas thing.
During most people’s stories, it’s always at the smug point that things turn to shit. And my story is no different.
After the kid friendly activities (Shark Reef, they went bonkers), my husband and I had some free time before bedtime. So we decided to go on an early-evening date to get some sushi in the casino. And get sushi we did! We went to Blue Ribbon Sushi, and it was incredible. Here’s my dinner. JUST MINE. Not to share or anything. And it might be that I had some, or a lot, of sake. But here’s the most beautiful damn dinner you’ve ever seen.
uhhhhhhhh. It was so good.
After that, things went downhill. My younger son, who is 3, got sad and wanted to sleep with us. So, I ended up in bed at 7:30 with a cranky toddler who kept kicking me in my very full belly and poking my face with his meaty little fingers and calling me a, “poo poo ghost face” and then giggling like someone on Molly. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to get up early and do the gym the next day.
After a responsible breakfast of eggs, we headed back to the extremely fabulous pool. While squatting down to give my older son something, I stood up wrong and my hip twanged like a freaking banjo. After that, it was all I could do to keep the screams inside while I limped around and felt cursed. It might be that felt very sorry for myself and had a few too many frozen margaritas (the waitress brings them to you while you’re floating in the pool!!!), skipped lunch altogether, and took a lot of selfies while my lovely MIL and husband watched the kiddos.
After more fun kid activities (the Secret Garden, they loved it) everyone wanted pizza for dinner and I said what the fuck. I ate some damn pizza. My hip was still hurting and I was starving for some carbs.
My sweet husband had planned for us to go see a movie and have another fab dinner, so I was pretty excited. Even though I was kind of full of pizza and a little hungover from the shitty margaritas, I rallied and got all dolled up.
We got all the way downstairs and halfway through the casino when the text came through. “Both boys want Mom. So sorry.” The message was like finding out the new expensive sweater you love so much is woven from a homeless man’s pubes. Very very disappointing, but not anyone’s fault and just something you have to find a way to accept. Defeated, we slumped back upstairs and collected our heinous spawn. As a consolation prize, I got to watch the Miss America Pageant on mute while my older son snored old pizza breath into my face. I was so sad, I got up and ate another Quest bar because it had chocolate in it. I gloomily noticed it was the last one. Not even my Quest bars had lasted.
I meant to get get up early and at least do 200 burpees in the hotel room, but I accidentally slept in. Damn you, blackout curtains! That morning was our departure day. My hip felt better, but I was broken. We hit up the incredible Cosmopolitan buffet and I went a little nuts. I had smoked salmon, chocolate mousse, sushi, gelato, caesar salad with a glistening white anchovy on top, bacon, pork belly, more sushi, three cups of coffee, raspberry rice krispie treats, pho, roasted potatoes, eggs, orange juice, chocolate tart, and more sushi.
We took the leftover pizza from the night before home with us and I ate it all in the car while blasting the air conditioning in my face to keep the carb and guilt sweats down to a slow drip.
Here’s what I learned:
1. Bring a sound machine. Here’s my pick, it works gooooood and is small and portable. Surprise! People are partying in Las Vegas. They will play extremely loud music in the room right next to yours. If you are adults who are alone, this can just be annoying. With kids = Disaster. The sound machine truly cancels the noise out and lets you (and your babies) have a decent night’s rest.
2. Go all in or all out. No wish-washy crap.
- All In: If you’re going to be good in Vegas, plan ahead. Prep chicken. Buy canned salmon or packaged tuna. Blend tons of greens into smoothies. Gather responsible carbs. Buy 24 Quest Bars. Freeze it, pack it, put it in your mini fridge. Then you’re not at the mercy of when other people want to eat or what there is on a menu. You can down your fuel whenever you need to and not inconvenience anyone. Insist on getting time to spend in the gym to just slip away. Don’t care about the fun you’re missing. Find a way to be accountable. Strut around the pool marinating in the glory of your superior hotness. Sip only water. Feel smug on the car ride home.
- All Out: Just take a break from your grueling schedule and have an incredible time. Don’t feel guilty about anything you’re doing and take advantage of every minute that’s available to you to indulge, get crazy, and do things you normally wouldn’t do. Stay out too late and don’t think about the next day. Smile all the way home remembering the fun you had.
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Images: Shutterstock Vegas Photo and Sarah Olive Bergson